Another side of the coin

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Written by Rabbi Michael Lerner

If you ignore the way Britain and France took over the Middle East after World War I, carving out a set of countries from what had previously been a single Arab world and backing local elites who agreed to sell oil to the West at cheap rates in exchange for being allowed to run dictatorial regimes at home and whose leaders pocketed vast wealth while largely ignoring the economic and educational needs of their own populations and brutally repressing all dissent, if you ignore how the United States took over major responsibility for maintaining this kind of relationship after World War II and overthrew the democratically elected government in Iran to set up the Shah in 1954, how Israel was supported in giving inadequate support to  the 800,00 Palestinian refugees produced by its creation in 1948, how the United States funded Saddam Hussein and encouraged his war against Iran in the 1980s, and how in the meanwhile  the American culture's valuation of money and individualism was fostering a breakdown of traditional families and communal support systems, leaving many people without any safety net to protect them against the vicissitudes of the capitalist marketplace, then it becomes easy to accept a story of American and Western innocence versus Islamic irrationality.

Rabbit Michael Lerner, The Left Hand of God, p.339

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